TTEA 2018 Parliament 03


Transition to a more inclusive national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards

29 November 2018

Creating a more inclusive national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards is the key driver for our review of the awards.

Acknowledging that excellent teaching can be found in all areas of our diverse tertiary education system, Ako Aotearoa is leading a two-year change process to the Awards, commencing in 2019.

Initiated by Ako Aotearoa, with the advice of an independent TTEA review panel, changes to the Awards aim to attract more nominations from teachers, tutors and education practitioners working in a wider range of tertiary contexts; making the Awards more relevant and accessible to them.

Since 2008, Ako Aotearoa has managed the annual awards on behalf of the Minister of Education. Earlier this year, the current Minister, Hon Chris Hipkins, indicated his support for increasing the diversity among Awards recipients. The review’s recommendations, approved by the Ako Aotearoa Board in mid-November, will bring significant changes to the existing criteria and guidelines that will be introduced over the next two years.

The forthcoming changes will make the Awards more accessible for individuals and groups working in private training establishments, wānanga, adult and community education and industry training organisations, in addition to the institutes of technology and polytechnics and universities sectors.

Transition 2019-2020

The Awards redesign begins with revisions to the existing criteria for the round in 2019, followed by the roll out of further changes in 2020.

“It’s important that we take some very deliberate and focused initial steps to encourage engagement from people in New Zealand’s diverse tertiary sector”, says Ako Aotearoa Director Helen Lomax. “But this process will take time - it can’t be done all in one year. It will take longer to make the significant changes we want for the sector. We will have more targeted communications with the underserved segments of the tertiary sector. Most importantly, we need to create a stronger network of support for all nominees who request our assistance.”

Stage 1 - 2019

  • A “liberated” set of criteria will be in place for the 2019 round
    • These will be less prescriptive and individuals will be better able to describe excellent teaching practice within their own context.
  • The 2019 closing date for nominations will be extended to Friday 31 May 2019
  • The extended date allows more time for educators to develop portfolios under the new criteria.
  • General and Kaupapa Māori categories still apply, and so do:
     • Excellence in Supporting Pacific Learners endorsement
     • Nominations from teams.
  • Portfolio word count is reduced to 6,000, with the ability to include supplementary digital evidence.

Stage 2 - 2020

  • One reserved General Category Award for each of the six subsectors, comprising of: adult and community education, industry training, wānanga, private training establishments, institutes of technology and polytechnics, and universities.
  • Kaupapa Māori Category awards still apply, and so do:
    • Excellence in Supporting Pacific Learners endorsement
    • Nominations from teams.
  • The remaining four General Category awards to be awarded on merit, based on the next best portfolios irrespective of sector.

The new criteria and guidelines for 2019 will be available via the Ako Aotearoa website from February next year.

For those people already working on their nominations, please contact us at: if you have any questions before that time.